On 15 July, in the Ministry of Regional Development, an acquaintance meeting was held with representatives of the Decentralization Offering Better Results and Efficiency (DOBRE) project in Ukraine funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which project will provide comprehensive assistance to the amalgamated communities in Ukraine and facilitate their development.
Acting Director of the Office of Democracy and Governance at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Ukraine Jeffrey Meyers informed that the project will work exclusively at the basic level of local self-government - in communities. "In the course of the next five years, the project plans to provide a full range of services to communities - from the strategic planning and matters of local economic development to the provision of administrative services to the population, cooperation with individuals and non-governmental organisations. In addition, we assign an important role to the communications and provision of information to the public", Jeffrey Meyers said.
Manager of the DOBRE project Barry Reed informed that, in total, 75 amalgamated communities from 7 Oblasts (regions) will be selected. "Communities will be determined on a competitive basis. We expect to start working on applications of the communities in September of this year. By the end of October, we plan to select the first 25 communities. Then, the actual cooperation with them will start", Barry Reed said.
"We are sure that, with the commencement of our work, the team of those engaged in the decentralisation and local self-government matters will be significantly strengthened. So, we are interested that the project starts operating as soon as possible and we will thoroughly encourage it", First Deputy Minister of Regional Development, Construction and Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine Viacheslav Nehoda addressed the representatives of the project.
He said that the encouragement of development of territorial communities was one of the key lines of reform currently requiring assistance on the part of international colleagues.
"Due to the international experience and support, the amalgamated communities have to get rid of the Soviet psychology and never be expecting that the State will resolve their local problems. Together, we have to show them how to effectively use new possibilities in the conditions of decentralisation, independently take care of their future, make complex decisions, and be prepared to have responsibility for such decisions", Viacheslav Nehoda said.
Summing up the meeting, the First Deputy Minister noted that the Ministry of Regional Development should coordinate the project activities with the activities of other programmes operating in Ukraine and promoting the decentralisation. "On the basis of your international experience and subject to the understanding by the Ministry of the specific features of local self-government reforming in Ukraine, we jointly plan the actions and steer the work so that the maximum number of communities receive and experience the support from the international community", the First Deputy Minister observed.
DOBRE (Decentralization Offering Better Results and Efficiency) is a new five year project of the United States Agency for International Development in the area of local self-government development planning to provide comprehensive assistance to Ukrainian communities.
Budget. The United States Agency for International Development plans to provide USD 50 million for the implementation of this project in the course of 2016-2021.
Global Communities, an American company, is the executing agency of the project in Ukraine.
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